Picture of Jake Owens
Jacob R. Owens, Ph.D.


Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Drexel University

B.S. in Biology, Richard Stockton College


The drill (Mandrillus leucophaeus) is a large semi-terrestrial primate from the family Cercopithecidae (Old-world monkeys). This species is found only in the coastal tropics of the Gulf of Guinea; endemic to SE Nigeria, SW Cameroon, and Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. As the largest potential predator on Bioko Island this species holds particular ecologic importance to its environment. Few direct studies concerning the ecology of drills, particularly on the Bioko Island subspecies (M. l. poensis) have been completed, leaving much unknown.

Jake's research focused on various aspects of the life of the Bioko drill, including questions pertaining to daily and seasonal movements, resource requirements and acquisition, and what measures drill's have taken to cope with the extremely high seasonal rainfalls (~11m per year) found on areas of Bioko Island. His research included GIS, camera traps, fecal sample analysis, and stable isoptope analysis, as well as looking into the historical dataset collected since 1990 by the BBPP.


After graduating from undergrad with a B.S. in Biology from the Richard Stockton College of NJ, Jake spent two years assisting on a variety of field projects, working extensively with diamondback terrapins and many bird species in remote areas of the US, Australia, and Chile. In the winter of 2007, he participated on the 2008 Caldera Expedition and subsequently joined Dr. Hearn’s lab at Drexel University. Jake completed his Ph.D. in December 2013 and is currently an Assitant Professor at Sichuan University at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding working on a captive-reared panda reintroduction project.


Eberhard, M.L., J.R. Owens, H.S. Bishop, M.E. de Almeida, A.J. de Silva, G.W. Hearn, S. Honarvar. (2014). Cyclospora from Drills (Mandrillus leucophaeus poensis) on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. Emerging Infectious Diseases 20 (3): 510-511. (PDF)

Cronin, D.T., J.R. Owens, H. Choi, S. Hromada, R. Malhotra, F. Roser, R.A. Bergl. Where has all our research gone? A 20-year assessment of the peer-reviewed wildlife conservation literature. International Journal of Comparative Psychology 27(1):101-116. (PDF)

Cronin, D. T., D. Bocuma Meñe, T. B. Butynski, J. M. E. Echube, G. W. Hearn, S. Honarvar, J. R. Owens, and C. P. Bohome. 2010. Opportunities Lost: The Rapidly Deteriorating Conservation Status of the Monkeys on Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea (2010). A Report to the Government of Equatorial Guinea by the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Contact Information

Jacob R. Owens

Email: jro35@drexel.edu